Aggression at Work

Sandy Hershcovis, Ph.D.

Our fall symposium, jointly sponsored by Portland State University Occupational Health Psychology Program, provided a comprehensive and often eye-opening look at the impact of aggression in the workplace. Two of the presentations are available as recorded webinars, and we encourage you to check them out.

Kicking off the morning, Sandy Hershcovis, Ph.D., provided the keynote. In this presentation Dr. Hershcovis defines workplace aggression, identifies key predictors and examines consequences. Some of her key points illustrate how targets often become perpetrators. Of particular interest to those of us working in workplace safety and health is the evidence showing that seemingly minor forms of workplace aggression really can matter, and how it can lead to spillover to family. Dr. Herschcovis also examines how witnesses react to and intervene in workplace incivility. Dr. Hershcovis is Associate Professor and Department Head of Business Administration at the University of Manitoba. Watch this presentation. Contact Dr. Herschcovis.

Later in the day, Marilyn Schuster addresses Oregon OSHA’s involvement in workplace violence issues. In general, Oregon OSHA relies on the General Duty Clause in its expectation that employers will adopt and furnish safety guards and methods necessary to provide a safe place of employment. Ms. Schuster is the Deputy Administrator and Policy Manager for Oregon OSHA. Watch this presentation. Contact Ms. Schuster.

Marilyn Schuster
Liu-Qin Yang, Ph.D.

Two other speakers, Liu-Qin Yang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Portland State University Department of Psychology, and Ginger Hanson, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, shared a series of recent and ongoing research studies on workplace aggression. Specifically, Dr. Yang’s research is focused on supervisor aggression prevention practices and organizational climate, and Dr. Hanson and her team’s research is focused on the consequences of workplace aggression for employee and organizational outcome. Contact Dr. Yang or Dr. Hanson.

Ginger Hanson, Ph.D.


Recorded webinars
Workplace Violence Topic on CROETweb
NIOSH Topic Page: Occupational Violence
OSHA Workplace Violence
Nov. 2 Photos on Facebook


2 responses to “Aggression at Work

  1. “Seemingly minor forms of workplace aggression really can matter.” Employers should establish clear chains of communication between employees and their superiors and encourage an open conversation regarding workplace stresses and any aggression or workplace violence. Being aware of a situation helps to identify the problem right away as well as identify a solution.

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